- “Regarding your review of Anna Culpepper's latest musical insult: Of all of the worthy artists in Rapture, why you continue to devote column inches to this musical GREMLIN is beyond my imagination.”
- ― Sander Cohen[src]
Anna Culpepper grew irate with Andrew Ryan after observing various infringements on the core ideals of which Rapture was founded. She took particular issue with Sander Cohen, an accomplished musician and defender of Ryan's policies and sought to comment on both men's actions through her professional medium; the end result was the record "Ryan's Songbird". The song itself was made to criticize the work of Sander Cohen, whom she felt was just a propaganda tool for Ryan.
The song left quite an impact, especially on its target. The hypersensitive artist was enraged by the scathing critique of his work. When a paper responded favorably to her work, he sent an incensed letter to the editor denouncing her as "dangerous." Eventually the negative attention became too much, and he demanded Ryan take care of the problem at its source. This resulted in the assassination of Anna Culpepper. Afterwards, Cohen started taking down posters for the song throughout Rapture and stored them in his apartment in Mercury Suites in a desperate attempt to make the criticisms go away.
- Main article: BioShock: Rapture
Sometime after Culpepper's death by the hands of Sullivan, the latter invited Bill McDonagh to his Mercury Suites apartment. Sullivan stated that he wanted McDonagh's opinion on something, which he later revealed to be the motives for Anna Culpepper's assassination. While stating his argument, Sullivan played a tape-recorded compilation of several Rapture citizens' personal Audio Diaries, one of which was a segment from the song "Ryan's Songbird". The song was described to have a mocking tune, with guitar and drums, along whistling in the background and "Culpepper's languid, teasing voice".
Ryan drew us in, Ryan locked us in
And Sander Cohen kept us hypnotized—
Andrew kept us thin, all for a whim,
And Sander Cohen kept us mesmerized—
With silly songs and watered drinks
With silly blonds and makeup winks
Behind the Scenes
- In Poseidon Plaza's Rapture Records from BioShock, the area in the rafters of the store where Silas Cobb's "kittens" appear before attacking Jack is covered with backwards "Ryan's Songbird" posters. This Easter egg left by the developers can only be seen by using console commands to disable clipping (on the Mac or PC).
- The E3 2006 BioShock tech demo features an alternate version of Sander Cohen's audio diary Musical Insult. The "musical insult" is identified as "Ryan's Songbird", presumably the song playing in the background of the recording which features brass instruments playing a march-like tune.